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Not dead, just dead busy

I wanted to pop in for a moment to let everyone know that I’m not dead, nor did my IKEA bookcase finally collapse on top of me. I’ve just been very busy with freelance work, which is good because I can afford to buy bread and fruit and Sherlock DVDs, but also a little nerve-racking because OMG WHY DID I TAKE ON THIS MUCH WORK?!

To tide you over, I was going to post a list of the most popular entries on the blog generated by the WordPress Popular Posts plugin I installed a few months ago. Then I discovered what the most popular post on this site is, for the past week, the past month, and of all time.

Get your not-safe-for-work answer after the jump.

My one-year freelancing anniversary!

Photo by happy via / by NCND 2.0 CC

One year ago was the last time I got up at 7:00am to drive to the full-time job I enjoyed so much that it made me want to freelance full-time. (Lesson learned: Me and big corporations do not mix.) July 8th, 2009 was a Wednesday. I’d originally intended to give my notice on a Friday, but I got halfway through the week and just couldn’t take it anymore. Some problem I can’t remember sprung up at the beginning of the day and I started thinking, What the hell am I waiting for? So, I walked into the boss’s office and said good-bye.

I know a lot of people fantasize about doing that and imagine it as a gleeful moment of emancipation. While I was definitely happy with my decision, the actual moment of resigning was a scary swirl of emotions, like good feelings and bad feelings had collided like high pressure fronts and low pressure fronts, creating an emotional tornado. I instant-messaged my best friend [...]

The weight of freedom a.k.a. what am I going to do with my life?

Photo by Russell-Higgs / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I have been freelancing fulltime for 10 months now, and I ain’t broke yet! Working for myself has been fun/exciting/freeing and stressful/boring/frightening. Regardless of what adjectives you use, it has also required math skills and free wifi.

I have learned how to prepare estimates, to charge what I’m worth, and to keep detailed records. I bring up work at any dinner out so I can write the meal off on my taxes. I’ve overcome my telephone anxiety (for the most part), run a meeting all by myself, and I’ve pitched my business in ten seconds or less at networking events.

I still haven’t figured out a long-term health insurance solution, and sometimes I get lonely or bored and don’t work as hard as I know I should. But I also get to shop for groceries in the middle of the day in my flip flops. And I can jet down to Louisville to meet friends on a weekday without having to ask anyone’s permission to do so. It balances out.

Overall [...]

The budgeting game

It is a game I play lately, to see how cheap I can live without hating how I live. Now that I’m freelancing full time, I am far more watchful of my income than I was for the past year and a half when I worked Not Quite Plush, But Reasonably Padded Corporate Job. My budget behavior far more resembles the four years before that when I worked Low-Paying, Uninsured, Small Company Job with Spunk and Freedom. I was not paid much, but I was happy to simply have a job. I also had $7000 in gallbladder surgery debt, a $2200 transmission bill, and about $1200 of dental work to pay off, all of which I was not happy to have. Back then, I actually went back to a store to get a $1.20 refund on something I’d bought because I desperately needed every penny of that dollar and twenty cents.

The nice thing about Not Quite Plush, But Reasonably Padded Corporate Job was that I did not have to watch my money that closely. I [...]

My tax money at work

It has been seven weeks now since I stopped working for the man and started working for the woman. (That’s me!) My boss is pretty good, tough but fair, and she has cute hair, though she could dress up a bit more. Capris at the office? Really? I haven’t had to take money out of savings yet, but I haven’t paid my quarterly freelancer taxes either, so that might change. Last night I found a program called Outright which not only builds reports of my income and expenses, but also calculates my estimated taxes. Whee! It also integrates with FreshBooks, the program I use for invoicing, which makes it extra close to my bookkeeping heart. (Did you know “bookkeeping” is the only word in the English language to have three pairs of double letters in a row? I learned that from Encyclopedia Brown.)

I know many freelancers have accountants, and I think that is a wise decision. However, I’ve been paying my own self-employment taxes for years and haven’t been audited yet, so I prefer to [...]

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Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

Please Do Not Leave A Message: Why Millennials Hate Voice Mail : All Tech Considered : NPR
I left a voicemail for my younger brother last week which he never got because he doesn't check it. When I asked him about it, he was like, "Why didn't you text me?"

Life in Quarantine for Ebola Exposure: 21 Days of Fear and Loathing - NYTimes.com
I tend to stay at home a lot, but 21 days stuck in my apartment would drive me crazy.

Buy Experiences, Not Things - The Atlantic
Money can buy happiness if you spend it on experiences, not things.

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